Episode 176

Women in the Workforce

May 15, 2018

Our friends at Freshbooks Cloud Accounting provided us with an exclusive special report that they’ve conducted about the shift in the American workforce toward self-employment and women’s place within the entrepreneurial workforce. Some of these findings got us excited and some of them got us really riled up, so today we’re digging in and sharing it all with you!

This Episode Brought to You By:
"If you got higher education, the next step is not simply to get another job, the next step can be whatever you want it to be."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • What higher education means for creative entrepreneurship
  • Autonomy as motivation
  • Stronger work/life balance
  • Expecting to work harder when working independently
  • How working for yourself makes you think differently about retirement
  • The growing number of women entrepreneurs
  • Motherhood and self-employment


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. Hey, bosses for this episode fresh books, cloud accounting provided us with a special report that they've conducted about the shift in the American workforce towards self employment, and women's place within the entrepreneurial workforce. So your listeners, here's where I want to get really real with you. We almost didn't publish this episode. And here's why these stats riled us up. And here's the thing, it's hard to talk about big issues elegantly. Sometimes the right words fail us. And sometimes we're not completely informed ourselves. And sometimes, well, oftentimes, it's difficult to step outside of your own world experience and even privilege to consider things from all angles. But here we are publishing the episode, not because we don't care about being 100% politically correct. But because we're not sure that's even possible. We believe that in order to make change happen, the kind of change we really want to see in the world, we all need to be thinking about these issues and talking about these issues in perfectly. And with open minds. Because if we're all just waiting to talk about it until we can say it perfectly, which is what I want to do most of the time, it's never going to get talked about at all right? So all of this to say we are learning, we are open, and we are trying our best to stand up for what's right. This conversation we had here is far from perfect. But we hope that it inspires you to have conversations of your own hay. If you're listening to this podcast, and you haven't quite made the leap to working for yourself, there's a good chance that your idea of how challenging it will be to be your own boss won't exactly match up with the reality of how challenging it's actually going to be. Now this is not an attempt to talk you out of it. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Because there's so much amazing help available, you've just got to know where to look. Our friends at freshbooks make ridiculously easy cloud accounting for small businesses, and have helped millions of folks just like you make the brave leap to being their own bosses. Using freshbooks is kind of like having your own administrative assistant who's got your back 24 seven. So you can set automatically payment reminders. And you can have fresh books do the chasing so goodbye awkward money conversations. And with the new proposal feature, you can create a living professional document for your project and have your client sign online so you can get to work faster. It is so incredibly legit. To see how freshbooks can support you in your quest for becoming boss. We want to offer our listeners an unrestricted 30 day free trial Just go to freshbooks comm slash at being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? All right, let's jump into this episode. Today we are talking about women in the workforce. And I'm really excited to chat about this episode because it's based on some legit research conducted by our friends at fresh books. And I want to be sure to include all of the methodology and more details on this research in the show notes. And so anything that we mentioned, as always, you can find on our show notes at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 3:40
You did a good job with that. Okay. All right. I'm really excited about this. Actually, I'll tell you the truth. I wasn't really excited about this.

Kathleen Shannon 3:52
Why were you not excellent out there. Why?

Emily Thompson 3:55
Because when people start talking about women in the workplace, it becomes a very ugly conversation quite often. Or at least I found I feel people get super triggered around this topic. I do too. But I feel like my triggered Enos is me being triggered by other people's triggers.

Kathleen Shannon 4:14
I know I mean, I feel like there is this cultural thing like uprising happening right now. And I love it. Like I love it that people are standing up and screaming their me to moments and you know getting loud about it. And I think that's what women need is to like take up more space and to confront head on the shit that's happening. I have to admit that a lot of it hasn't happened to me like that has not been my experience. And so I'm with you where whenever I hear this, I'm like, Oh, is this all about like women being abused in the workplace? And it's not

Emily Thompson 4:49
right? No, it's not I know and that's that's the place whenever I was reading through this, I got most excited because whenever I heard about it, I was like shit if I have to like, listen to it, and please don't anyone take this the wrong way, but someone, like play the victim to something that happened to them and blame it on their womanhood, or whatever it may be like I, I personally have been in enough situations that I've chosen not to play victim and instead change my circumstance to a point where that's what triggers me. And this is not about that at all.

Kathleen Shannon 5:22
It isn't. But while you're talking about that same, like, I've been in situations that could certainly have been super shady. And I think that, um, you know, I was really young and naive and just kind of brushed it off. And I don't know that it would be the same now. And also, it wasn't so bad that like, in my gut, I was like, oh, something really bad. Like, there was no trauma, I guess, is what I'm trying to say there was no trauma from the experience, there were gut feelings, right? It's like, get out, get out, get out. And I did, like I got out. But you know, all this to say, again, like women deserve to be advocated for, they need to advocate for themselves. And this is, again, separate from all of that, but also kind of not because it is such a hot topic issue right now. Um, so it is interesting, just in our experience, as creative entrepreneurs, how it's kind of taken us out of some of that corporate setting, and narrative that is happening right now on that large scale. But we still have our own issues being women in the workplace, even within creative entrepreneurship. And I'm really excited about this survey and the research they found because some of it surprised me, some of it excited me and some of it did get me a little riled up. So what I would love to do is get in point by point. Now, let me just read this little intro, because this came from the fresh books, cloud accounting, self employment report. And I just want to read this a little bit. The data suggests a dramatic shift in the American workforce, whereby the number of Americans working for themselves could triple bringing the total population of self employed professionals to 42 million by 2020. For this year's report, freshbooks, in conjunction with research now surveyed more than 2700 people in the US who work full time, either as traditional employees, independent professionals, or small business owners.

Emily Thompson 7:21
Heck, yes, I love this so much. Because what this tells me is that more and more people are seeing, you know, the lines of work that we do, and by we I mean everyone listening to this is like, be your own boss, take control of your life and work like all of these things as being a viable option. I think so many factors have played into this. And I love that freshbooks has put this together so that we can really see what this looks like. I've actually not just me, there's several of us who have really seen this birth of a new economy, a new way of working and living and how, how they can be brought together. And I love it. This proves that that thing that we've been seeing for a while is like really happening and in very large numbers.

Kathleen Shannon 8:11
Yes. Okay. So one point that we highlighted here was this is all about millennials kind of shaking things up a little bit.

Emily Thompson 8:20
Of course, they do this what they're here for, I love is one says one, I am one. So I'm going to be talking smack about millennials. But I am ones are right, just chill.

Kathleen Shannon 8:30
But you know, it's funny. I mean, every generation that's older has been talking trash on the younger generation. I mean is this is nothing new. Alright, but one interesting point, newcomers to the independent workforce are slightly more educated than the existing self employed group, the next 27 million will have a slightly higher rate of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees, while the rate of self employed professionals with no college will fall. This is interesting.

Emily Thompson 9:00
This is interesting. This is one of my favorite bits, because we know so many bosses who like feel beholden to their degree because they got it. But what this is saying is that people with degrees aren't just going out and getting jobs anymore, which pretty much equate so you can't just get a degree and then therefore get a job, like people are finding alternative routes of employment, because the traditional ones are letting us all down. So this idea of people, this idea of people getting these degrees and still finding fulfilment by working for themselves by that not is simply equating to getting a job makes it makes me feel good, because I was definitely one of those people. I got a degree that I didn't want to do the thing that I got the degree for, but I hope it tells everyone else that like you're not alone in this, like if you went and got a degree or even higher education, because this talks about master's degrees. It's not like the next step is not simply to go get a job. The next step can be whatever you want it to be.

Kathleen Shannon 9:58
I love the way into her Did that data because I was almost a little discouraged by it like, Ah, so is this saying that if more self employed people have degrees that you need a degree now to even be self employed, because I feel like the cool thing about self employment and entrepreneurship is that you don't need a degree. And I think that more and more higher education is going to become, I think that that whole system needs to evolve a little.

Emily Thompson 10:24
Amen. I completely agree, completely agree. I mean, I think that there is definitely something to be said about four years of education or six years of education or 20 years of education, if that is you, this idea of having the structures be put in place that like help you grow and learn how to learn, because that's basically what it is. It's teaching you how to learn new things. That's really important for entrepreneurship. Is it necessary? No. Does it help? Yeah, like I definitely I don't use my geography degree on the daily for the work that I do. But I absolutely see lessons that I learned in those years that it took for me to get that degree that I apply now. It's more around like structuring your work day and making sure you meet your deadlines. And are you going to pass that test? Because everything is a test, guys. So um, so no, I definitely see it as, as a breaking away, either voluntarily or not from the tradition of or the expectation to just get a job after you, after you get a degree and instead moving towards doing whatever you want, after you get a degree and that for some people is starting their own business.

Kathleen Shannon 11:39
We should do a whole episode just on higher education and the things that you could be doing instead of getting a degree or if you are getting a degree how to best leverage that experience. If you ever think you might want to work for yourself, because for me, even thinking back on my college experience, I wish I had connected more with my peers. Like in art school, I was still kind of hanging out with the punks who were all over the place. And some of them were incredibly intelligent. But it had nothing to do with where I wanted to go as a designer, and I was lucky enough to even know what it was that I wanted to do in college, and I followed that path anyway, a whole different episode. So here's another top line research finding autonomy is the greatest motivator. Americans are choosing to move away from traditional nine to five jobs because they feel independent employment allows for more freedom.

Emily Thompson 12:32
Yes, ma'am. isn't made me really excited. Because what a shift in mindset, from what, you know, one generation or all the generations to this one now to where we currently are, where people would rather have that freedom than traditional benefits. Like we've redefined what a benefit is a benefit is no longer health care. And it's no longer a retirement package. It's so many other things. It's all the things that you don't get from traditional employment.

Kathleen Shannon 13:03
I am going to get a little bit political here because I feel like a freedom is one of the founding tenants of you know what it is to be in the United States and to be patriotic? I feel like the government is making it really, really hard to be free. Yeah, because we can't afford health insurance as creative entrepreneurs,

Emily Thompson 13:25
right. I mean, it did like, it definitely was Obamacare. That allowed me to have health insurance for the first time since I got off my parents health insurance. And not only just me, but like getting getting Lily, for example, off of off of like state health care, like actually getting her on a like health care plan that we paid for. And not, I mean, it's not so much because we were super poor. Although we didn't have any money, it was more of it wasn't even an option for us to get health care. Like even if we had been able to Super afford it. We had no options, unless we wanted to build a team of five plus people and pay for health insurance for everyone. And that was a lot to put on my business at that point. And even now, being boss, like even we don't have five full time employees, we would have to grow so much bigger and really grow our revenue, like all these things, just so I could have health insurance. And that is a really silly thing. So I am super grateful that Obamacare has allowed us to at least have health insurance. However, it's been fucking ridiculous since we got it for sure. So not a perfect solution, but it is a step towards a solution.

Kathleen Shannon 14:47
Yeah, my biggest hope for creatives. And you know, even the findings of this survey is that at some point our government will catch on and start to see how they could actually benefit from us working for us. ourselves. So I feel like right now it's kind of like hitting, you know, against the wall, but seeing how this could be good for everybody. And as far as you know, even just innovation and money, like we could all be making more revenue working for ourselves. So, anyway, so Okay, another point that I really thought was interesting was 43. My Apple Watch is going off. Like your grandma over here, what was that? Okay, 43% of respondents feel becoming self employed will give them more control over their career. Nearly 1/3 of respondents also selected family reasons as a motivating factor, while 55% expect to have better health after becoming self employed, lending credence to the idea, a stronger work life balance is part of gaining more control over their careers. I mean, we're already seeing corporations really jump on to this idea of work life balance, and I love seeing where that's going as far as allowing your employees to work remote and more flex time and unlimited vacation. And I think that corporations are going to have to continue to do that even more if they want to hang on to their traditional employees. Because guess what, we're going to go find it for ourselves.

Emily Thompson 16:23
Right? I agree. I also love this move towards like a family centered lifestyle where like, it actually does now make a difference if you can stay home with your kid or not. Or it also I think, actually one of the things that I wonder too is how much people how much more people now are using alternative sources of revenue for their lives. So like you, for example, having rental houses in Oklahoma City. Like I wonder if more corporate, corporately employed people are doing that now than before, that would give them the ability to jump off for family reasons. You know what I mean? Like, I feel like so many people are afraid to make the leap into entrepreneurship because of their family. But I wonder if this points to people being more prepared to make that jump. Interesting. Love it. We don't know just posing more questions.

Kathleen Shannon 17:20
Incoming independent workers are preparing for satisfying yet difficult work.

Emily Thompson 17:27
This is interesting, I love is about to throw so much shade on all the other generations, please keep going

Kathleen Shannon 17:36
59% of professionals who plan to switch to self employment expect they will have to work harder once they move to independent work.

Emily Thompson 17:48
So I love this. And as a millennial, and like top millennial, which I feel is different from bottom living ultra started out there, for anyone who's getting too judgy I'm judging myself is really what that means. Um, I love that too. These people are expecting to work harder, like it's not them leaving their job to go live, flippant lifestyle, doing whatever they want. They really go into it expecting to work harder, they should, because they will. But I think this speaks a lot to how people, how people are perceiving the workplace these days and the value of doing fulfilling work, where you're more willing to do work that you believe in, and you're willing to do it, like jump into it, then you are, you know, working more easily for something that isn't as fulfilling.

Kathleen Shannon 18:39
Yeah, and I think also a shift here is that whenever you think about working in a traditional job for somebody else, versus working for yourself, the traditional job might be sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, regardless of if you have work to do. If you are working for yourself, you might only even be working four hours a day, but working harder in those four hours, then you would be like idling those eight hours at a desk job. So I think that this is really interesting. I also am kind of grateful to hear this because sometimes I worry that in the circle of creative entrepreneurs and Pinterest and Instagram, that people are glamorizing creative entrepreneurship, like sometimes I worry about even us doing that a little bit and I don't want to go the other way and say like, don't do it. You guys. It's really hard. Like we

Emily Thompson 19:26
talk shit about this lifestyle enough that if anyone's taking it the other way, they're just not listening to the other half of what we say.

Kathleen Shannon 19:34
But I love that these you know, folks are prepared to work harder. Okay, nearly 65% of currently self employed professionals between the ages of 50 and 65 are report wanting to work longer as opposed to retiring. Millennials seem to understand this is now commonplace behavior as 62% of self employed people in that generational cohort plan to work beyond the age of 65.

Emily Thompson 20:01
You know, and the same thing of this made me think of like generations of people to come, who don't see 60 as like the day to aren't just working for that 60 years, and to like cash in their pension and do the thing. But this like, this looks at again, finding a career that will you that you will find fulfilling far beyond this arbitrary 60 year old date.

Kathleen Shannon 20:25
I mean, sometimes I even fantasize about quitting my job right now. And I can't help but if I continue down that fantasy, like, I'm maybe laying on my couch for a week watching Netflix, but then what am I doing after that?

Emily Thompson 20:38
Right, I get stir crazy in a week,

Kathleen Shannon 20:40
and I'm coming up with business plans. And so I think that is part of doing what you love means that you can't stop even if you wanted to. And part of that entrepreneurial spirit does not have a time stamp on it, like, you're always going to be that person, my biggest hope is that by the time I'm 60, or 65, I've got a couple of streams of income that are super automated, and I'm living off of interest. And at that point, I hope that my work becomes real creative. Like I'm a painter, or I'm a writer, and I still want to monetize those things are showing galleries. Or maybe On the flip side, maybe it's like, I become like a Jane Goodall, and I'm saving gorillas and bringing, like, all sorts of marketing efforts, and everything that I've learned thus far, to, like really doing good. And maybe that's the time in my life whenever I can, like really give back. But give back like an entrepreneur, like, you know, like, put that energy into cleaning up the world.

Emily Thompson 21:38
Yes, I love that so terribly much. And I think this also speaks to the fact that, you know, we now realize that retiring at 60, like, government's not gonna take care of us like that's gonna be gone, like, we might as well find something we're going to want to do for a very, very long time, because we're not going to have many other options. And I think this speaks a whole lot to, hopefully the tenacity that like coming generations have. And this idea that we're not working for a cash out, like we're working for more than that. And not to say that anyone before that was just working for a cash out. But they're like, this is a really big mindset shift. I mean, think about, think about all of us, who were pushed by our parents and grandparents to just get a job that would allow us to retire when we're 60. And then we can, you know, go live on a farm or whatever it is, it's really about the longer long game than that, which is inspiring.

Kathleen Shannon 22:39
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Kathleen Shannon 23:19
Despite increased control, self employed professionals still have needs. Like, that kind of makes me laugh, like, wow, yeah, we have a good headline. But this is like kind of like professional needs. So one of the challenges that they found rose to the top was self employed professionals report that finding talented staff or contractors and acquiring new customers are the most difficult challenges they face as they attempt to grow their businesses. Ain't that the truth? Yeah, that's the train. And that's why we're here. I think it's really interesting that in this point, they put down acquiring talented staff or contractors alongside acquiring new customers. Like they lump those two things together. Because I think one of the biggest issues we see from every creative we're encountering is like, how do I get the right customers? How do I get more customers? How do I? And yeah, like hiring staff and collaborating with people certainly comes up and not nearly as much as finding those clients.

Emily Thompson 24:23
Right? Well, and I think that's because the level of entrepreneur that we talked to is in those beginning phases like those beginning couple of years, because once you do get your web or your website, your business going, and you do have that steady flow of customers. The next problem is finding competent people who support you and those customers, and that's experienced that. Or that's an experience I've certainly have in a couple of my businesses. Once you get to that level. It's no longer about finding new customers because they're coming to you we're word of mouth is happening all of those things, but You just have a hard time finding people to help you serve them.

Kathleen Shannon 25:04
Okay, so now I want to dig into the women in the workforce report, which is actually exclusive to our audience. So thank you freshbooks for hooking it up. So I'm just going to read through all of these point by point, and we can comment on them as we go. Okay, let's do it. A shifting tide, why women are choosing self employment. Over the next two years, nearly 14,000 women per day, per day, will quit their traditional job and begin to work for themselves. By 2020, the population of self employed women in America will triple growing from 5 million to 15 million. Whoa,

Emily Thompson 25:50
that is crazy and amazing. Corporate America is just going to become a boys club. More so than it already is.

Kathleen Shannon 26:00
I think it's interesting, because sometimes I get real riled up whenever we get lumped in as like best podcasts to listen to, for female entrepreneurs to listen to, like, we get really lumped into this like women bucket. And just because we're women, and we're podcasters and we're talking about business, doesn't mean that we are women business podcasters. Like, we're not identifying or defining ourselves by that label. And we think that we're open to all genders and that men and women and everyone in between, or outside of that, you know, all of it can learn from what we're sharing and the experts that we're interviewing what they're sharing. And anyway, all this to say I was getting like riled up, like why are we just always being stuck in this woman category? But this stat kind of makes me realize, like, oh, because more and more women 14,000 per day are quitting their jobs, and looking for someone who looks like them to talk about their experience.

Emily Thompson 27:02
Yeah, for sure. I completely agree with that. And even go back to what I was just saying about corporate america becoming a boys club. I can't wait to see what the new corporate america looks like. Because, you know, even as we talk about, you know, a small business owners and entrepreneurs like, I'm definitely hoping to build a corporation or two in my lifetime guys. Like and it will be the new kind. Oh, that makes me feel good inside. I like that.

Kathleen Shannon 27:28
I know. I like it, too. Okay, the decision to become self employed generally results from one of two paths, necessity, like getting laid off from work or choice, the vast majority of women 91% will the full time employment to become self employed by choice? Yeah, cuz we're not getting laid off. We do our jobs. And okay, becoming self employed won't be the only drastic career change for these women. After they make the shift to independence. 30% of them plan on pursuing entirely new careers.

Emily Thompson 28:08
I mean, it's fascinating.

Kathleen Shannon 28:09
I'm seeing this happen so much in the life coaching realm, you know, just anecdotally, I see so many powerful executives quitting their jobs to follow something with more purpose. And it usually is in the wellness or coaching or kind of like even more like feminine side of offerings and services.

Emily Thompson 28:30
Well, I think it's either coaching it's either like more purpose or more creativity where people are then going to become photographers or artists or whatever it may be. I think that i think that's still a very like feminine path of profession. And I think that you know, we're all raised to go through these traditional traditional rounds of education and like you need to become a I don't even know what something traditional and because creativity and purpose are not as valued as you know your ability to make sells and make a buck and help someone actually help someone else make a sell and make a buck. So I think people are just realizing that and you only got one life guys might as well do what you want.

Kathleen Shannon 29:15
My biggest hope for the whole world is that we go through like another renaissance of like art and architecture and painting like where that kind of creative innovation is revered again and being commissioned by people with the big bucks. So back in the day, it was churches, you know, commissioning artists to make art I hope that the corporation's who do have a ton of money, really do start respecting, and commissioning and supporting the arts in like a whole new way.

Emily Thompson 29:49
This makes my skin tingle because Can I tell you what I recently added to my bucket list?

Kathleen Shannon 29:54

Emily Thompson 29:55
I want to become a patron of the arts. Ah, yeah. Like I want to just have like some little sculptors or something that are just on my payroll, they can just like live and be creative and do their thing and have sculptures all over my garden. Doesn't that sound dreamy? Yeah, like legit life goal of a patron of the arts.

Kathleen Shannon 30:19
Now I'm imagining being like a 65 year old lady, well to do, and having like a couple of shirtless 25 year old boys painting murals in my living room

Emily Thompson 30:32
of each other of each other. Right. Mine also kind of looked like that. I just didn't say it out loud. Thanks, Kathleen.

Kathleen Shannon 30:45
Things we could not say if we were men. Okay. motherhood plays a critical role in a woman's decision to become self employed. Traditionally employed mothers are significantly more likely to become self employed than women without children. 84% of women believe self employment makes it easier to be a working mom. I mean, that was kind of your experience, right? Emily? Like,

Emily Thompson 31:11
yeah, yeah, yeah. So um, absolutely. I wanted to stay home with Lily. So I quit my job. That's actually so my partner at almanacs supply company, same thing. She got pregnant and had a day job and worked out for a while, but knew that she wanted to stay home with her kids. So she quit. And she knew she would find something later. And then I came along. So and now she's working for herself. I think that i think that that path is it's so much more viable now than it ever has been where you know, we do have the option to quit our jobs, to take care of our kids and create a new path for ourselves. That is completely viable. Thank you, internet. I love you very much. And thank you to Lino just a growing culture in which that path is okay.

Kathleen Shannon 32:03
And I know I keep like really pushing us into the future with these like big visions and ideas. But I think that part of the thing here that's happening is that it is still encoded in our DNA, like it was not that long ago that like our moms are staying at home and certainly our grandma's and then our grandma's mom's you know, I mean, I think that it just wasn't that long ago that women actually joined the workforce. And so I think that we're still inclined to stay at home. I mean, even me, whenever I had Fox, I thought, alright, I'm since quit everything and be like a super crunchy stay at home mom, that's sewing quilts by hand. I don't know, you know, like the fantasy.

Emily Thompson 32:44
I remember seeing that, in my mind as Kathleen has two pads here. One of them looks a little frightening.

Kathleen Shannon 32:53
And I think that it is like one of those things. I mean, it might, it might not just be societal, but like kind of biological as well, I don't know, I really don't. But I had envisioned that as well. And I think that again, like whenever I think about being a stay at home mom, I imagine myself getting real bored after a week, and wanting to create something else. And so I think that there is this merging of us wanting to raise families, but also wanting to do something, do something else, like creative or make money or contribute in a different way. And so that's happening to like women are staying at home. And because women are so bomb and awesome. They're like, I'll raise my babies and pay the bills. I'm gonna do it. All

Emily Thompson 33:41
right, I know I love it. And again, we have the tools to do it now so much more easily than we ever could before. However, I also just want to do a shout out to Avon and Mary Kay for also allowing, like stay at home moms to work from home. Um, and like really sort of preceding this culture and a lot of ways where you do have the ability to do the thing and take care of your kids all from home.

Kathleen Shannon 34:07
Many women believe self employment offers career growth opportunities unmatched by the corporate world. Of those considering self employment. 52% say they can't reach their full career potential in a traditional job, and 63% expect their careers to advance more quickly once self employed.

Emily Thompson 34:29
I can't help but think that that last one is like one, maybe like some rose tinted glasses, a little bit like I have to quit my job to do what I want. I love that high five on the optimism. But I also think that so much of traditional employment and not even so much sexism, but just like the speed with which large businesses move, like you're not going to grow as quickly like in your profession, in a large business, and especially Corporation I think then you could if you were doing it on your own and like gathering your own accolades and getting your own cloud and you know, really sort of making all of those path decisions on your own.

Kathleen Shannon 35:13
Yeah, I mean, whenever I think about being a creative entrepreneur, I could imagine a scenario in which I'm working 20 hours a week, and becoming a millionaire like that is fully within the realm of possibility. I can't think of a single traditional job in which I'm working 20 hours a week, and am doing anything more than like, I don't know, getting someone some coffee. That's a little dramatic. Like I might be doing more than that, but still like working on an hourly contract basis where there is a ceiling that I cannot get through because there are only so many hours in the day.

Emily Thompson 35:49
Yeah, I agree with that.

Kathleen Shannon 35:52
13 million American women are likely to become self employed over the next five years, overwhelmingly, 70% of them say discrimination in the traditional workplace is a contributing factor to this decision.

Emily Thompson 36:05
I mean, I quit my last job because some douchebag dude, God bless him, like, didn't care that I was pregnant and made me do like climb ladders, basically, like it was definitely some shady shit. Maybe

Kathleen Shannon 36:22
he just saw you for the strong, powerful pregnant lady, you're

Emily Thompson 36:25
I'm sure he did the keys and said, I'm gone. I made sure he saw that before I left. And I think in that was like, I was lucky. That's as bad as my sexism got for sure. But I think it's it is a real issue. And it's obviously obviously a real issue. And I'm glad that people are making the decision instead of staying in the job and dealing with it to take their own future into their hands and move out of it and do the thing. And that's probably the place where I feel the most triggered whenever people talk about gender discrimination in the workplace, is the number of people who stay and put up with it, and just allow themselves to be victimized over and over and over again, with all of these very viable options for you to leave and do the thing. If you're not doing it. You're doing that by choice.

Kathleen Shannon 37:18
I mean, I think is like probably the same as women staying in really terrible marriages or, you know, things like that, where they're just scared and can't see a way out. And I know that me and you both were like, I'm out. Yeah, but I can see where some women you know, in different experiences that we haven't had might feel pressure to stay for whatever reason or another. And I know certainly becoming a mom has made me feel like, okay, I just can't do what I can to provide like, and I could see where that definitely becomes a motivating factor to stay in something that's less than desirable, but like, I love that you were pregnant, you're like I'm out and the sole breadwinner, you know, like you were a prime example of like,

Unknown Speaker 38:04
total boss,

Kathleen Shannon 38:06
bossing it up. Thanks. High five.

Emily Thompson 38:09
I think because of that, please don't bring your problems to me because I'm not gonna make you feel good.

Kathleen Shannon 38:15
Just not. And this doesn't even address like the discrimination like this is just women. So imagine being a woman of color. Imagine being a queer woman, like there's a king it can get pretty dark here.

Emily Thompson 38:28
The world is a pretty nasty place. And I love that. Again, I love that there is now more options like that. I feel like you always have an option. I think your options may not look exactly glittering upon first glance. I think they may not be super exciting in those first moments, but I think you always have other options. Again, thank

Kathleen Shannon 38:53
you internet.

Emily Thompson 38:55
Dave Right love the internet. For sure.

Kathleen Shannon 39:00
Okay, bosses. This is the kind of thing that I don't normally do, but I got a fabfitfun box in the mail. And I loved it. So if you don't already know about fabfitfun is a seasonal box with full size, beauty, fitness and lifestyle products. Their spring editor's box is epic. It has products like a free people eyemask beauty and skincare products from Kate Somerville, which is my personal favorite, and tart, which is another favorite. A super cute mug by ayesha curry. And that's just the beginning of it. Don't miss out because they sell out fast. Check out www dot fabfitfun calm and use the code boss so you can save $10 off your first box, making it only 3999 you will that is such a steal. Again, that's fabfitfun calm and use the code boss with how hard you work as a creative entrepreneur. You deserve to treat yourself All right, the self imposed glass ceiling persisting challenges in self employment. Unfortunately, gender discrimination does not stop once a woman begins working for herself. More than one in three women say they have experienced discrimination while self employed, and 30% believe they are not taken as seriously as men who do the same work.

Emily Thompson 40:24
Girl, this is the truth. And even as I'm talking about all that, like not being the victim, and getting out of the thing, even like, and I'll admit it, even not even this is an admission, this is just I got stories to tell two guys, were even taking yourself out of those situations, you're still a woman in the world. And women in the world are not the same as men in the world.

Kathleen Shannon 40:48
So since being a creative working for yourself, when have you experienced gender discrimination?

Emily Thompson 40:55
I think every time I try to go open a bank account, Oh, right. Or like anytime I need to like get a business license or anything, I need to do something official and I walk into a room. It's always David that they look at first because they think he's the one who's like the boss of the situation. And I'm like, nope, guys, this is mine. Thanks. Or I think one of the very specific scenario once was once whenever we had our physical studio, some guy came by to like, I don't know, sell window cleaning or something. I can't remember what he was doing. He walked in, or David went unlock the door and let him in. and was like, Hey, you want to talk to you about doing this for your business. And like, again, immediately assuming that David was the owner of the business, and David being like, she's actually the one that you need to talk to, and like, the surprise on his face was so clear and evident. I just wanted to, like, smack it off. But like, also, Hi,

Kathleen Shannon 41:52
I'm Emily. You know, even now, so David is on our team and supports being boss in so many ways, and D typography and all the things like he's definitely a support person on our team. And we've drafted up emails, and have had Davidson them. Yeah, because yeah, whatever his name is, David,

Emily Thompson 42:10
right, because he's a man, he's a man name. Yeah, there have been many, many times, whether it's like trying to get money that's owed to me, or trying to deal with the support person who doesn't want to talk to a woman, or whatever it may be sometimes either putting David or Corey on that email chain, or being the one who like makes the phone call or whatever, it gets it done significantly faster than whenever I'm trying to do it. And for me like it, it makes me less mad these days and more of just like a system of like, Okay, so we're going to be dealing with this, David, you're gonna need to deal with this. And more like if you're going to be an asshole to me, I'm gonna play you.

Kathleen Shannon 42:48
It's funny because I'm kind of like, and someone even in our old Facebook group accused me of this but I'm like the opposite where if I get a man on the phone, I'm I always want to be like, Can I talk to a woman? Woman somewhere I can talk to. Um, so for me, it has been more nuanced, and especially around childcare. So again, Jeremy's not getting questions about where our child is during the day. And then especially finding daycare. And this is like, my own trigger. And it's not super explicit. And I'm probably seeing it because I'm sensitive to it. But whenever I'm hunting for daycare, so for example, we just moved from Oklahoma City to Michigan. I got a lot of questions like Okay, are you wanting to date daycare, three day daycare we offer Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9am to 11am. I'm like, What? No, I have daycare, full time. So then I say I work full time. And they'll be like, okay, we have a nine to 230 program for four days a week. And I'm like, No, I need like 7am to 6pm like full time daycare. And so I have found that whenever I have Jeremy making the calls searching for childcare, they just assume that he needs and wants full time from 7am to 6pm. Oh 100%. In Oklahoma City, there is this one child care program that we were wanting to get him into. So he had a full time nanny, but it's almost like she needed the mother's day out. And so we were trying to get him into a program whenever I called they're fully booked up have a year long waitlist. I had Jeremy call back like just to check in and see because they did say like call back and check in and see, whenever Jeremy called back they were like, you know what, we're gonna hire a new teacher and open a classroom. So like the joke I always make is that if you get Jeremy to call and this is the other thing as a daycare is so hard to get into and again, like could the whole world make it easier for women to work for themselves or other people by like supporting or subsidizing or I don't know putting a priority on child Care like, that would be so awesome. Anyway, um, it's just really hard finding it. And it's a lot. People are more receptive, I think or surprised whenever it's a guy calling for childcare. They know they're just more helpful.

Emily Thompson 45:13
Yeah, they're just gonna be more helpful because he needs it.

Kathleen Shannon 45:17
Yeah, like Jeremy always jokes. He's like, I wonder if they think like the mom has passed away in a tragic accident, and they're like, we need to help this man.

Emily Thompson 45:27
Probably, probably.

Kathleen Shannon 45:29
Okay, I'm gonna get off of that tangent. Unlike traditional employees, self employed, professionals don't have to wait for annual reviews to get a pay raise. Those that work for themselves have the ability to set and charge their own rates. Yet freshbooks finds the gender pay gap extends beyond the corporate world and into freelance work, or self employed women are earning 30% less than men. Okay, can I admit something here? Yes. I don't want to put any blame on women, like not negotiating or whatever. But I have found myself in a place where I have compared things, two peers that are like, same same, if not like, if not we have more of what's the word social? Standing social proof, numbers, metrics, and making less. And part of me wonders like, Am I not? negotiating? I mean, this is like, I get real confused. And I don't want to say the wrong thing. So dear listeners, please forgive me if I'm saying the wrong thing. I'm sure I am. But like, Is it because they're men that they feel confident enough to be like, No, actually, I'm going to need X amount of money. And I'm going to need X amount of creative control. And I'm going to need you to deliver this thing by this date. You know, is that is it because they're men? Or is it because I'm a woman that I'm not asking for more? Like, I just really never thought of it in those terms. But

Emily Thompson 47:07
I think it's both of those. I think I think suicidally is that a word will go with it. That people do question men less like, what they say is simply how it's going to go like people are going to negotiate less. And that's something that even we've discovered, and when, whenever thinking about like sponsors, and who's going to have those conversations are when it comes to like vendors and things. It's the those conversations simply go more easily if it's happening with a man. But I also think that it's I think it's just as much that as it is the fact that women, like whenever you think about masculine and feminine energy, like not even like man and woman, but masculine and feminine energy, masculine energy is going to be more aggressive, it's going to like stand more firmly, it's going to do all of those things that feminine energy is not going to do and it's not made to do. Um, so I think it's that as well, I think I think that in order to fix that gap, women need to more comfortably tap into their masculine energy. Because we all have that within us. We just like, Don't, we're not used to it. We don't like practice being aggressive. And not that we all need to be aggressive. But sometimes you need to be aggressive.

Kathleen Shannon 48:29
And on the flip side of that, I think that shock collars, whether you are a man or a woman, you really need to think about equal pay for the same amount of work and like really hold yourself accountable to making sure that that's a priority within your hiring practices. And within your pay raise practices, and not not give someone a raise just because they didn't ask like I think that that should no longer be an excuse for people who are in charge of payroll to be like, Well, you didn't ask and he did. Like, I think that there should also be standards and rules and ethics in place there as well. Because like we're still figuring it out. Again, our grandmas were not working.

Emily Thompson 49:09
Right Well, and I was about to say I also think is just going to take a while to fix that. We're like, where, and I don't even know how to like say it or draw a parallel that will explain it. But like, you don't just wake up one day and the pay gap is fixed. Like women are going to have to like, work harder to get there for a little while longer and then it won't be an issue and but we do have to work hard and make it do and it's not just like expecting people to pay us. It's a standing up for ourselves to get paid. It's both of those things is not just external. It's also internal. We are all responsible for it. There's not just one party who's guilty.

Kathleen Shannon 49:53
I keep saying that my grandma didn't work but she was actually an aluminum welder in World War Two.

Emily Thompson 49:58
I love that my grandmother worked in a cast iron foundry. And like scary conditions.

Kathleen Shannon 50:06
Look at both of our grandma's swing and metal,

Emily Thompson 50:09
right? I think I think, I don't know, I just I love seeing the world change in this way where like, I don't need to work in a cast to harden foundry like that sounded really awful. But I have other options, and people with which to, to have conversations like this because I do think that conversations like this. And statistics like this is what moves us all forward, we can see what the world is really like, we can determine the parts of what we want to keep and to determine the part. So we want to cast away and then move forward.

Kathleen Shannon 50:48
Our study does not have all the answers as to why self employed women earn less than men, we know that one in four women are choosing to work less in pursuit of work life balance, but other evidence suggests a more systemic bias. Women struggle twice as much as men when it comes to setting rates pricing, y'all. And 20% of women believe they have to charge less than their male equivalents to get and keep customers.

Emily Thompson 51:13
I wonder how much of this is just mindset? Like it's nothing more than mindset? And maybe none of it? I doubt it. Maybe all of it,

Kathleen Shannon 51:24
what mindset would you have to be in to charge 20%? More? When were

Emily Thompson 51:31
you think that your work is equal to that of your male counterpart? I mean, that's like it because it says and 20% of women believe they have to charge less. I think you're in a place where you don't believe that you need to charge less in order to keep and get clients.

Kathleen Shannon 51:51
But like, what would you do to cultivate that confidence? Like, would you think like, well, what would I do do like that kind of

Emily Thompson 51:59
change all day? I mean, and I think that's one of the things well, especially with clients, with customers and like products a little bit different, because like, you're just going to put your products on your website or sell them for the price. with clients. Like it's, it's pretty easy to offer one client to like, 20% higher and see if they say yes or not. And one client the regular and see if there's like a difference, just testing and changing and seeing and having conversations, and not just like sitting there going well, I might not be worth it. So I'm just gonna charge 20% less and call it a day.

Kathleen Shannon 52:34
I know but like, again, with this being systemic, like, for example, I think that I've probably charged 20% less than my male counterparts, but more out of unawareness, like I didn't know. So for me, I think we need to all be having more conversations about money, we need to be talking about how much we're making, I think that women need to be in more mastermind groups with guys. And we need to I mean, because I do see this sense of tribalism happening where like, I even in being boss, we attract, we have guy listeners, but we attract a lot of women. And again, I think it's for good reason. Because a lot of women are looking for other women, as you know, role models or examples of how to make a do whenever it's never seen possible. But I do think that this is something like coming out of this research that I really want to challenge myself with is making more male creative peers, like I love women power. And I am like one of those women who like, whenever I was a kid, I was always friends with other girls and not really with guys.

Emily Thompson 53:37
Like I know a lot of my friends were dude. Yeah, right, which is not surprising, I'm sure.

Kathleen Shannon 53:43
So like, I need more dude friends that are creative entrepreneurs. And I want to just be having money conversations with them, I think.

Emily Thompson 53:54
Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I agree with that.

Kathleen Shannon 53:57
Okay, so I want to wrap this up by recapping some of the statistics. According to women who are currently self employed. 34% say they have experienced gender discrimination while self employed. 30% believe they have to work harder than men who do the same work. 30% feel they are not taken as seriously as men who do the same work. 20% believe they have to charge less than male equivalent, get and keep customers. While self employment comes with its own set of challenges. The outlook is an entirely bleak, the majority of women 78% say they're happier self employed than they were in a traditional career and 72% feel more in control of their career. So that kind of makes me think of the top of the episode where like, we know that like millennials, and I think this applies to people across the board. Like we know we're going to have to work harder, but it's still going to provide more fulfillment.

Emily Thompson 54:54

Kathleen Shannon 54:55
I agree. Um, compared to being traditionally employed women Say 72% feel more in control of their career than ever 78% are happier now compared to when they are traditionally employed. And more and more than one in three women plan on growing both their workforce and revenue. So let's do the work y'all. I got shit to do. Yeah. All right, thank you so much freshbooks for hooking us up with this survey It was so fun to read these points and reflect upon them and again if you guys want to try fresh books, try it go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section?

Hey, bosses, I want to tell you about the CEO day kit. The CEO day kit is 12 months of focus planning for your business in just one day. So Emily and I have packaged up the exact tools that we've been consistently using for years that have helped us grow from baby bosses to the CEOs of our own businesses. gain clarity find focus, get momentum, prioritize your time, make better decisions and become more self reliant with the CEO day kit. Go to courses that being boss club to learn more and see if it's a fit for you and your business. Shout out to this episode sponsors including fresh books cloud accounting go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section to try it for free. Go to 20 twenty.com slash being boss that's 20 to zero.com slash being boss to get some really good stock photos and they're gonna get through a few free ones your way and then of course fabfitfun comm enter the code boss so you can save $10 off your first box making it only 3999 Thank you for listening to be boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club. Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey and are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography,

Emily Thompson 57:18
do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.